Great Sunchoke Experiment


#1

I planted these in three 5 gallon bags in the center of the lawn on a aluminum drain pan.



This came from a 40 gallon grow bag in the building shaded area

Lastly same type of 5gallon grow bag that was on the ground in a different area of the yard.

This bag was the clear winner as where the red skinned verity.


#2

We sure like the sunchokes up here in Minnesota. They are a great substitute for watercress in soups and hot dishes. Nice crunchy texture. Not meant to be eaten in bulk however. I once fried up a pan full and ate them like potatoes. . . big mistake


#3

Please share any recipes. Also how do I store them?


#4

Sunchokes are delicious served like artichoke hearts. I boiled some until tender, dressed them with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Italian herbs, and salt, and brought them to a potluck. They were very well-received.

Afterwards, everyone was like, “Wow, that bean dish Dennis brought to the potluck had some really strong after effects.” I was just like, “Yeah, Dennis’s bean dish, that was it.” Sorry Dennis.


#5

I found something that is even worse than sunchokes! It is chicory root, you can buy the seeds, grow the plant, and harvest the root in fall. Good looking roots. It is the inulin, for which chicory root is the #1 source and sunchokes #2. The best of fermentable fibers as it produces more butyrates than anything else. The secret in eating it without problems is to eat very little at first, and increase very slowly. In fact I just dilute it with other roots, both in salads and in ferments.


#6

For recipe’s I don’t have anything special other than throwing them in soups, hot dishes (aka casserole), and salads. They add a nice crunch. As far as storage, what has worked best for us is a 5 gallon bucket with lots of wood shavings, we try to trick them into thinking they are still in the ground. Also, if you go out in the spring once the ground is thawed, you can dig up last falls chokes and they are still excellent for eating.

Great advice!


#7

I don’t think I can trick them back into dormancy. I just dug these up out the planting bags I grew them in last year. I also have 7500sqf property over run with them. It was only after I started growing them did I realize I could get them for free. Do they hold up to deep freezer storage?


#8

I don’t know, but I doubt it


#9

This is a great post! I just planted a pound of sunchokes and they are starting to pop through the mulch. Do they flower continuously or is there flowering period short? Since they are in the sunflower family I’m hoping they produce flowers for a month or two.


#10

in my experience they flower from last summer till frost. Source, two years of watching my giant field of sunflowers wondering what they where and 1 year of growing them my self. pruning the flowers should result in more energy for the roots Win Win.


#11

They do bloom for a long time once they get their height (which can easily be 8-10 ft.) Not the most attractive flower though imo. . .


#12

The flowers smell like chocolate, which is nice.


#13

After a month or so of cold storage, the effect is reduced some. Problem is they store “sugar” in a form humans can’t digest, but our gut bacteria like it just fine. This produces the effect and is why they are tolerated by diabetics who can’t handle sugar/starches.


#14

2018 Update

I recycled the dirt and used it to bag some apple and cherry trees. Well I did not clear out the roots very well and most of my bag did double duty growing Sunchoaks. Thanks to the 68 degree weather I decided to empty one of the bag and see how they did.

2 Gallon bag

2 Quart part.


#15

When I’ve grown them they’ve been pretty enough to cut and sell for cut flowers at the farmers market, and they sold well the very small number of times I took them.


#16

Its amazing how productive they are. That is the product a 2 gallon bag. I have 4 more 2gal bags and 4 6 gal bags to go. Just because I was lazy during my repotting. I think I prefer the red skinned verity I grew a couple ears ago, it produce larger tubers.


#17

I harvested 2 2 gal and 4 5 gal planting bags yesterday. This was the result. The red’s are clearly larger. The least productive was the whites in the red pot on the left. the most productive was a pot that had both reds and whites growing together. The two two gal bags where combined in the black pot.


#18

Nice harvest, I’ve tried the whites here in SC but they didn’t do too well. I may need to give the reds a shot. Thanks for sharing your results.


#19

Very nice harvest. Sunchoke grows like weeds here. Hard to get rid of it. I finally made good use it it, making sunchoke wine.


#20

Sounds interesting, what is the recipe? You must be fairly experienced with wine making to try something like sun choke wine